What I Learned From A Few Good Dogs

On my run I have places along my route where I stop and say HI to some of my dear “friends”. They’re the neighborhood dogs; my “pseudo” pets, if you will.

I don’t have a dog but I’ve kind of adopted some cool “friends” along the way and I swear they expect to see me nowadays. It’s also a good motivator when I’m being lazy to get out the door. I can easily convince myself to believe that BAILEY (A mixed curly-haired dog who jumps so high he makes me laugh) will be so upset if I don’t see him in the morning and throw his ball a few times in his front yard. The guilt alone makes me go for my run. Wouldn’t want to disappoint him after-all, right? A win-win situation I do suppose.

But this morning on my way back from seeing RINGO (a beautiful white HUGE lab), I observed people walking with their dogs more closely for some reason. And I noticed how the dogs treated each other.

At first, they seem suspicious, they take a moment, sniff here and there, and then, more times than not, are excited to meet another new dog and possible new friend. Usually they start playing within moments! Tails wagging, smiles all around! Doesn’t matter the breed, the size, if they’re mixed or “pure” bloods or what part of town they’re from. They don’t seem to care as long as you seem alright and are willing to be friends, even if it’s just momentary. Dogs behave the same way with human beings: a little suspicious at first, a little sniff here and there and then BAM, happy to meet you!

Sure, there are some scary dogs, even a few dogs with attitude and maybe some take a little longer to get comfortable, but dogs don’t seem to discriminate. You get the same once over, the same benefit of the doubt and always the chance to play!

Two things dawned on me:

1) Dogs treat each other so much better than we do as humans.
2) We humans, treat dogs, way better than we treat each other.

Now, that’s something to think about.

Starsky Suarez. brother of Hutch

When I was a little girl, we had two dogs, or more specifically, my mom had two dogs! They were named Starsky and Hutch. Mixed German Shepard Huskies. I wish I had a picture of Hutch, but unfortunately I don’t. He looked exactly like his brother Starsky here, but he was completely white! So cute! And they grew up to be very big dogs! I still love them and think about them so much. ..and goodness, I miss them something fierce!

Here’s to all the beautiful pets out there! Mwwuuuaaaah!

Rejection – The Silver Lining

Rhayne:  Carm, you there?

Carmen:  Hola Rhayne – bored at work, I see.

Rhayne:   I have a question.

Carmen:  Shoot.

Rhayne:  How do you deal with rejection?  I’m so sick of everything falling apart and everything going wrong.  I don’t get it.  What am I doing wrong?

Carmen:   Uhm, that’s. . . What happened? You want to talk on the phone? Skype?

Rhayne:  No, I’m at the coffee shop.  Can’t.  Can we just IM?

Carmen:  Okay.

Rhayne:   I went out with that guy.  Remember the one I told you about from the online site?  The one I had coffee with and I thought we had a great time and he said he was going to call me and then he didn’t?  That one.

Carmen:  uhm, so he did call?

Rhayne:  Yeah.

Carmen:  That’s good right?

Rhayne:  And that job interview I went to last week?  That friggin’ second interview that I thought for sure I aced.  They filled the position and didn’t even tell me! I found out because I called and asked!  Oh my God, I was so humiliated! I actually called!

Carmen:  Oh, I’m sorry.

Rhayne: I just feel stupid. I feel horrible. I feel like a loser.  Oh my God, what am I going to do? I’m so sorry.  I can’t believe I’m bothering you again.  I know you’re going through your own stuff.

Carmen:  You’re kidding me, right? Pahleeze! Don’t worry about it. So tell me what happened last night with that guy.

Rhayne:  I don’t want to talk about him actually.

Carmen:  What?  Okay. So, let me get this straight, you’re asking me how I deal with rejection so well? Uhm, because I’ve had so much experience, jeez thanks!

Rhayne: Yeah, I do.  I mean, no offense, but. . . I mean, you’ve been through so much and you’re always happy.  I mean, I know you cry and get sad, but…honestly, how do you do it?  No matter what’s going in your life, you’re always okay. I don’t get it.  Is it drugs? Alcohol?  Lots of sex?  What?

Carmen:  Definitely not drugs or alcohol. . .

Rhayne:  Oh my God!  Lots of sex, that’s how you deal with it?

Carmen: LOL!  Yeah, wouldn’t that be great?   If sex cured all our problems!

Rhayne:  Or if your real love did. . . CHOCOLATE.

Carmen:  CHOCOLATE!!!!

Rhayne: ROTFL!

Carmen:  Ha!

Rhayne: I want Suzie Cakes cupcakes right now!

Carmen:  Look, there’s no doubt rejection is hard. But I guess I deal with it the same way I deal with most things– head on.

Rhayne:  I don’t know what that means.

Carmen:  I know, give me a dang second to type girl!

Rhayne:  OK.

Carmen: First, rejection is something we all feel at some point.  That’s not to diminish what you’re going through and feeling right now, but just to remind you that it’s normal.  Second, it’s important to understand why rejection hurts so much.  Primarily because it makes us feel like we’re not good enough.  Like we’re “less than” someone or something else.  It solidifies and confirms our own worst fears:  that we just don’t measure up.  And if someone doesn’t approve, then see, it must be true!  Got those two so far?

Rhayne:  Uh-ha.

Carmen:  The third thing to remember is that we don’t like rejection because ultimately we want to be liked.  It’s natural.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s part of living.  As much as “some” pretend not to need anyone, the  fact  is  we’re social beings and want to fit in.  Even in our aloneness, we want to know that we’re accepted by others.  And most of us who are sane never want to hurt or disappoint others.   It’s a natural part of what makes us, US.  So far so good?

Rhayne: Yeah.  When are you going to tell me how to fix it?

Carmen: When you gonna pay me?

Rhayne:   It’s in the mail.

Carmen:  Yeah, right.  For real, it’s a process.

Rhayne: Okay, okay, I’m listening.

Carmen: The fourth thing to remember is that you’ve already been here before.  You know all of this.

Rhayne:  What?

Carmen:  Yeah, everything I just said beforehand… that  it’s normal, that it hurts because we want to be liked by others and that we’re social beings regardless of how we say we don’t need anybody?  This is not new – rejection is not new to you.

Rhayne:  Okay, but so what? How does that help me?

Carmen:  You were rejected before when you were 3 years old in the play ground or when you were in grammar school, high school, whatever.  You’ve been through this before so you already know what rejection is – been there, done that.

Rhayne:  Exactly what I’m saying!  It’s like I’m “Queen Rejection” or something!

Carmen:  No, silly.  What I’m trying to say is this: you have felt this before and you’ll feel it again.  It’s part of the process of life and unless you’re never going to compete for anything ever again or go after something you really want, or fall in love, then you’re always going to run the risk of feeling rejected.

Rhayne:  So I’m destined to always feel bad because it’s human?  Is that what you’re friggin’ telling me?  How the hell is this supposed to make me feel better?  I’m thinking alcohol would be so much better.  I’d go for the sex cure if you’d hook me up with that fine boy on your facebook -  there’s like three of them I’m interested in.

Carmen: You are so crazy Ms. Thing!  For the record, that boy is NOT available! Let it go!  But yes, as a human being you are destined to possibly be rejected many more times for sure.  That’s a factual part of living.  So you can’t stop being rejected, but you can control how deeply you feel about it and definitely never let it devastate you.

Rhayne:  Okay, how?

Carmen: Every time something doesn’t go your way Rhayne you get all in a tizzy.  So, the question is why?

Rhayne:  you already said it…because I’m human and, you know, all the three things you said before.

Carmen:  Ugggh….yes, but there’s more to it than that silly girl!  What you haven’t figured out is how to turn a bad feeling or situation into a good thing.  Find the silver lining. Everything has a silver lining, no matter how faint it may seem.  If you want to know the trick of how I’ve made it through  “sooooooooooo much rejection”  that’s the trick:   I flip rejection to a positive.

Rhayne:  What?  That sounds stupid and too easy.

Carmen:  I didn’t say it was easy.  And I would say stupid is IM-ing me from a coffee shop like I’m your damn therapist!

Rhayne:  Touché. Sorry. Go on.

Carmen:  Whenever you get rejected try and see it as just another opportunity for you to try again.  Each time someone says, NO, say, OH YEAH?  Don’t feed into the hurt of rejection.  Make it a line in the sand to cross over and dare once again.

Rhayne:  Oh, so, a guy you’ve been in love with picks some fat ugly whore over you and you’re fine with that and see it as a challenge?

Carmen:   Ha! Ha!  Oh my God!  That was too funny!  Let’s leave the boys for the end, okay?  Let’s start with work first.

Rhayne:  Okay. Shoot.  But I can’t wait to hear the answer to that. . .

Carmen:  You send out resumes, you go to an interview, you look your best, present yourself well and think you’ve aced the interview and you don’t get the job.  Right?

Rhayne:  Right.

Carmen:   Okay, instead of harping on feeling bad or like a “loser” because you didn’t get the job, why not do a little reality check on all the reasons why you might not have gotten the job. You know, think about things you can control.   Like, for example, did you say too much in the interview?  Not enough?  Were you too chummy with people?  Was this really the right job to pursue? Did you accidentally show up the interviewer….uhem…

Rhayne: Oh shut up!  She was like 14 years old!  I could have done her job for goodness sake and I’m interviewing for her?  What the hell!  I shouldn’t have to be dealing with some freshman supervisor wanna-be.  I should have her job!

Carmen:  Rhayne, honestly, do you hear yourself?  A minute ago you were feeling rejected, now you’re pissed because you had to interview for a job with someone you thought wasn’t qualified.  You didn’t really want that job did you?

Rhayne:  It’s a stupid position I can do with my eyes closed.

Carmen:  I’m sure. But this isn’t the right economy to be playing that game so you have to adjust, right? The point is, you make a choice – either suck it up and talk to the 14 year old “supervisor” to get the job, or decide that it’s not a job you want anyways because you’re overqualified.  But don’t put yourself down over it.  Choice, line in the sand, positivity.  Nothing about feeling bad at all.  What’s the silver lining in the situation?  If anything, I see this as a positive, you should feel good about it.  You’ve learned something new.

Rhayne:  F – you!

Carmen:  Yeah, you best abbreviate my sistah –I’ll just assume you meant to say “Fabulous, you!”  Ha!  Look , it’s the same way with the guy thing.  First of all, don’t ever compete with other women.  It’s not about the other woman.  If a guy isn’t interested, remember that it’s the same as when you’re not interested in some guy who likes you.  Then be glad you got that information NOW and not years later.  Silver lining!  And why would you force someone to like you?  That’s like forcing someone to be your friend.  It makes no sense.

Rhayne:  Amen to that! You are so right!

Carmen:  In more intense relationships, if someone doesn’t want to be in your life no matter what you do to accommodate the relationship and they still lie or behave stupidly – then walk away.  I mean, honestly, what’s the point?  True love and true friendship, no matter the relationship,  is about respect.  Respect of yourself in the relationship and respect of the other person.  If you really love someone, you wouldn’t hurt them purposely – especially not over and over again.  You know I’ve walked away without looking back pretty easily from dumb-ass people.  Three chances and you’re out.  Here’s the silver lining:  If the muther-flower is a liar and therefore an overall woose, then I consider that a bullet dodged big time!  Remember what Maya Angelou said, “People always SHOW you who they are.”   They may talk a good game, but ultimately its behavior that matters.

Rhayne:  Preach it sistah. Preach!

Carmen:  Ha!  I know, right!  I feel the spirit coming through my fingers when I get going…Ha!

Rhayne:  I know you do!

Carmen:   And Ms. Thang, let’s be honest here, okay?  You’re just meeting these men for the first and second date, right?   Maybe you need to lighten up a bit.  It’s like you’ve emotionally invested a little too much too soon.  Give yourself a break already. You’re like piling up on the rejection crap just to feel bad!

Rhayne: You’re right. I hate you.

Carmen:  I know.  Beauty and brains, I can’t help it, I was born this way baby!

Rhayne:  Bitch.  Okay, but seriously, now what?

Carmen:  Well, I’d like to say you should write me a check for my services but I know that ain’t going to happen.

Rhayne:  Funny.

Carmen:  Tomorrow just start fresh.  Stop putting so much weight on everything.

Rhayne:  I know. I know you’re right.  And the other days? When it doesn’t work out?

Carmen:  Easy, Chocolate cupcakes! Always on standby!

Rhayne:  I’d rather you call up one of them boys on your facebook page so I can have me some of that “sex-cure”. What that boy’s name, you know, the one that -

Carmen:  You’re crazy!  What do I look like a pimp or something… jeez!

Rhayne: Well, that could be a job for me.  I’d work on commission.  You know, I could  be your secretary if you started up that kind of business… maybe your bookie or….

Carmen:  Good-bye Rhayne!